Saturday, April 30, 2011

she's gone

& i will miss her always...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

mah crumb

during all those breaks i was reading up on ciabatta & watching videos trying find a way to remedy my soup dough issues. the instructions said "beat the crap out of it" & i did, i even put on my black leather boots & called it all kinds of dirty names.....

when i pulled it out of the micro i wasn't too surprised that even with all the fluffiness it was still pourable; one of the videos i watched, she had pourable dough so i wasn't too stressed over it. i separated it into 2 batches on parchment & gave it another rise period. the next part was difficult, flip the liquid mass.

Z was hollering to me about something & i told him to come to me & he asked what i was doing so i explained i was wrestling with paper & dough. he said "wouldn't that be easy?" then when i watched what i was trying to accomplish he said "why don't you get another piece of paper & just flip it upside down?"

BRILLIANT, my child!

i baked & it fluffed some more. B came home, said whatever i was baking smelled good, i told him it was an experiment gone wrong 7 different ways & there was no telling what was coming out of the oven. both loaves came out looking great; a bit of crisp to the crust, tender inside, just a little, tiny bit on the salty side.

there is is, in all it's blue cast glory (sorry but i don't know what's up with that). also, don't mind all the alcohol in the background....
the last slice from loaf #1 & loaf #2 waiting patiently, it's holes weren't quite as large.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

tears in my ciabatta

in an effort to distract myself, not to mention i was hungry & we were low on bread, i decided to give the ole ciabatta another try. for reals this time though, no no-knead type like i made before. the bread was pretty good, i just don't like having to plan like 18 hours in advance for my baking. i'm lucky if i think about such things 4 hours ahead of time. since then i've made french bread, rolls & a few types of breadsticks; so i figured i could handle traditional made ciabatta. even when i make breadsticks they're served after the 1st round of spaghetti bc i don't plan well, 18 hours is way out of my league.

i looked for recipes & then from all the talk, i started to get a little nervous. i decided to go with this recipe. which probably wasn't a good idea bc hello, conversions, my first hurdle, not a big one though thanks to the internet. i went through the trouble of going to a few different conversion sites to make sure i got it right, bc conversions are so not my thing.

recipes states 475g = ~2c water, ergo 500g = ~2+c flour, no? grams are little right?
also, when converted i got 15g = 3+tsp salt, i'm on the fence thinking that may be too much, but i went with it. i've worked with enough bread dough to know measurements are all estimates & that's why i can do it, i'm not precise when i cook.
the recipe also says to use your KA (kitchen aide)-like mixer. um, i have a $30 handheld from walmart, will that work? if i have to go buy a KA-like mixer i might as well go buy 300 loaves of bread....

so with all odds against me & occasional tears before i even get the flour out, the adventure begins. it says expect pancake batter & yes, that's what i started with. i used my dough hooks (which i initially mocked when i got the mixer, never mock, not even inanimate objects, it will come back to you) & beat, then rested hoping gluten strands would form, repeated like 4 times & still had pancake batter. not even kinda thick pancake batter.

i decided to switch on over to regular mixer dohickeys; not sure if the blades would destroy the gluten strings but i needed more motion. the batter is supposed to thicken up with the mixing, pull away from the sides & even the bottom of the bowl, yet i still had a bowl of soup. i beat for 10 minutes, not much changed, i let it rest, then beat again & this time i reviewed the recipe again. more importantly i read the comments bc i remember seeing someone saying they beat their pancake batter by hand & their's turned into ciabatta dough so wtf????

then i read a note that for some reason, again me & conversions not friends, the 500g of flour does not equate to 2+c flour, it equals somewhere along the lines of 4+ (i think it was 4.2 or 4.3 but, i don't give a F now....) so my pancake batter was never, ever, ever gonna turn into ciabatta dough without more flour.

easy fix, but now i had frankenbatter.

i added 1+c more of flour so i no longer had soup, but still had messy, sloppy, sticky dough. then i put it in the micro (no heat, just closed environment) to rise. that was 2 hrs ago & it's about to spill out of the bowl. rise it has, i'll bake it, but it will probably be tougher than nails.

Monday, April 25, 2011

easter 2011

i just read my post from last year, so strange to go back to that time....the awkwardness with my mom & as far as i knew my dad & nana were both fine.

a few days before easter Z told me he wanted to celebrate the real reason for easter & although i was a little taken aback, i told him we could do that. for clarification, i said "so you want to go to church, right? to celebrate easter..." hahaha, you should have seen his face! "NO, i want to do an easter egg hunt!" very well then, now that we're all clear about that one.
i did explain the real reason for easter, but i'm pretty sure he fell asleep.

on sat am i took Z to a local park for an official egg hunt. it was crap though, $5 donation & the toys were bs. Z thought he scored, so i wasn't going to rain on his parade, besides, i only donated $3 - take that!

when we got home i asked Z if he wanted boiled eggs in addition to confetti & candy filled eggs & he said yes, but when i told him he had to help, he decided that wasn't necessary. i was fine with that, but seriously? putting eggs in the pan & some water was too much trouble? that kid!

it shouldn't have surprised me that he also decided he didn't want to help with coloring eggs; to that i responded confetti eggs were not happening then. in my opinion coloring the eggs is part of easter, so color with me kid or else! he crumbled & we colored & he enjoyed it [i made him]. we played with double dipping & coloring 2 shades, etc & then when we were done Z sorted them all by color & intensity, mommy's little ocd monster!

sunday was a different day though; reality was crashing in all around me. i wanted to be happy, it was easter; but nana, almost a year since dad's passing, all the job hunting rejection, put me on the edge of tears for most of the day. i pushed through it though.

my mom came over, she gave Z a basket & a toy. B & I hid Z's eggs (we didn't get caught this time!), Z had his hunt (again) & we gave him a couple of little toys. we had ham, potato salad & green salad, there was no room for cake; Z didn't have room for food.

then my mom & i went to visit nana for a little bit. when we returned, all of us put the confetti eggs together, one of those family moments i hope Z remembers. it was getting late though & bc the glue needed to dry i wasn't even sure we'd get to confetting. i said something to Z about waiting for the next day, then i remember i had a stash from last year, it was only a dozen, but if the neighbors came over it was only 3 kids so that was plenty. i sent J a text & it worked out, they came over & we all had a good time. the boys especially, little M wasn't so sure about things, but i think part of that was she was just tired.

so now i have a bigger stash, i'm thinking they will be used at a birthday party or something, cinco de mayo's right around the corner too. like we really need an excuse to crack eggs on each other's heads....

Saturday, April 23, 2011

the boy

i never claimed to be a mommy blogger, so you can't say anything about no Z posts. it has been a few months since my dear friend Peggy has given me a call [why yes, we are on a first name basis, well...i am, she may not be], but that doesn't mean the boy's been out of trouble. it just means he's managed to not get in THAT much trouble or that he hasn't gotten caught.

so again, right before easter spring break he had to make sure he ended that with a shabang & really test boundaries at home & at school. there were plenty of yellow & orange cards, i don't think there were any reds. um, part of that might be bc he's been turning his card the wrong way again....

i decided i was tired of all the not green colors & have really been making an effort to look into getting him evaluated for adhd & trying to find programs, assistance, um, how about what to do? where to start?

i look & read but get nowhere. a friend suggested a place that helped her son immensely, but when i called they told me they only helped children already diagnosed with severe disabilities like autism, etc. & then she hung up the phone as soon as possible without giving me the chance to ask if she could give me any other leads.

his first week of school, he did it, A FULL WEEK of green, for reals! we're only in the last trimester of the school year, but whatever, let me enjoy this, he worked hard for it! & he wasn't even sick or on medication!

when i asked him what he wanted to do to celebrate he told me he wanted to invite everyone over like we did for poppa's birthday & have a water balloon fight. i was thinking something like chuck e cheese or a movie, so we'll see how this goes.

Friday, April 22, 2011


several emails & phone calls later, uncle got it going & i went back to the facility to assist with getting nana signed up for the hospice. although unlikely, the enrollment/admissions person agreed that if there were any concerns about the morphine, but percocet worked, it would be better to switch her to oxycontin.

the facility nurse also informed us it was confirmed nana has a uti & that could be causing her recent change in behavior.

a hospice nurse is supposed to come in to observe nana, how she's doing, her pain level, how the meds work for her, etc. the initial observation will be high, part of it is to determine what level of care she really needs. once the antibiotics start working, we will really know if the behavior changes are from the morphine, the uti, or the inevitable....

but today is a WIN!
[sad that a confirmed uti & signing up for hospice is considered a win, but it is]

i'm happy & relieved. before i left i stepped into nana's room. the tv was on & i could see that her eyes were open so i turned on the light & she looked at me!!!!! she hadn't looked at me in 2 days, i missed that. i'm going to really miss that!

bare with me...

on tues i made sure to visit nana, uncle was coming & surprise when i got there a family friend from B-town was also there, she & her daughter i went to hs with. nana wasn't too bad that day, propped up in bed. she didn't talk much, she told me she wasn't feeling well & when they brought her lunch the family friend was able to get her to eat a little chicken & potatoes. my mom also showed up, so nana had a roomful of guests, she wasn't herself, but you could tell she was happy to have people around her.

weds was the day i met with the staff about hospice, the previous post.

on thursday when i went in nana was unresponsive. she was awake but would not respond to my voice or move her eyes at all. if i touched her she would say "ouch" but that was it, her hands/arms were limp if you picked them up. i thought she might be heavily sedated but then she would be asleep right? i asked the nurse & she told me bc of her unresponsiveness they hadn't given her any pain meds that day.

i sat with her for approximately 3hrs, from the way she looked, it was as if she had already passed & her body was merely shutting down. i even texted B & told him i thought she was going. they brought her dinner & there was soup on there so i was hoping i could get her to eat. although i hadn't received any kind of response prior when i asked her she said "water" & she drank a big gulp. shortly after B & Z showed up she moved a little bit more, but it was all automatic/involuntary motions.

i spoke with the nurses again & they asked about hospice, my uncle set up the appt for tuesday. the nurses looked at me bc we all are not sure, considering her current status, if she'll make it to tuesday. i asked them about contacting Dr F, that maybe beings hospice wasn't lined up he might want her admitted to the hospital so she can get the kind of care she needs. at the facility they can't do IVs & she can't take pills in her condition.

when i left there i didn't know if nana would make the night. if i would get a call in the middle of the night. if she would still be with us in the morning. the bits of sleep i got, B was moving/twitching & in my dream he turned into nana having spasms as she past on.

today, fri, B & I met my mom at nana's; she was better than yesterday but still not responding. she did however, roll herself onto her side. seriously, the woman amazes me. my mom force fed her a few bites of potatoes & she drank a fare share of water, definitely more there today.

i got an email from uncle saying he'd gotten his house cleaned & the woman who does the cleaning told him nana may be having a reaction to the morphine & that if i still thought hospice should be started sooner (than tues) to let him know what he needed to do.

no offense, but the (*&^$@# housekeeper, no matter how sage the woman is, THAT's who finally gets him in gear????
the oncologist has been telling him for over 6 months, the facility has been telling him for probably 4 or 5 months & i've been bugging him for the past couple of weeks. oh well, all hail the housekeeper bc girlfriend made it happen!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

the decline begins

on the 7th nana had a dr appt, i didn't go bc my mom came over.

2 things came of the appt - dr put nana on morphine (i'm not sure if that's good or bad, it was mainly to ease her stomach pain, but morphine's some scary shit) & bc there hadn't been changes in her health instead of 4 weeks her next appt was 6 weeks (win!).

i don't remember what happened, but i didn't see nana until monday & she was a MESS. (oh, i had received a call from the facility over the weekend letting me know they had reduced the morphine pills 2/day to 1.) she laid in bed in agonizing pain, it hurt to see her like that. she was so out of it, not drugged, just could not see beyond the pain to see me or acknowledge anything.

i put her flowers on the windowsill like i normally do so they could get some sun & gave them some water from a cup. i didn't realize it until i had already emptied the cup that it was vomit. i was already teary & queasy, seeing that didn't help. a lady from the church came in to see nana's roomie, when she saw me she asked if i wanted her to pray for nana & i said yes.

i talked with the nurses & my uncle & everyone said it was the medication transition, but it seemed like much more to me, but what do i know....

i've been back to see her, more than usual, she's improved some, but nowhere near where she was before the appt. i don't know if it's the morphine or if the tumor has become active.

it's taken some arm twisting but my uncle is finally on-board with getting hospice involved. i'd hoped beings he contact the dr's office to inquire about the hospice he'd let them know about nana's declining health but he didn't. i don't know what he's waiting for, but i know i'm always half-sprung & looking for something to obsess over. this is most definitely it.

well, the job thing too, but i'm not getting into that now. that's another corner of this blog & my brain....

we're almost to the year on my dad's passing, the timing has me worried.

Monday, April 4, 2011

survived the camping

we came home on the 38 & it was WAY easier drive than the 18. oh, i forgot to mention we initially tried to go up the 330 but it was closed. there wasn't much for traffic & there were tons of pulls out & all the slow drivers pulled over so faster drivers could pass, it was a fab drive down the hill. not only that, we were pretty much at the bottom of it when i thought about putting in in neutral & coasting, the car got over 45mpg, the highest it's ever gotten - whoohoo!

at best it's been about 32mpg & i thought that was great, that alone was keeping me from getting a new car [never mind not having a job to pay for one....]. although my body was not happy with all the crap food we'd eaten the car stopped at A&W, i couldn't help it.
burger, yes, fries, yes, rootbeer float, hell ya!
we had to complete the weekend appropriately right?

we made it home, unpacked & set our clothing on fire. well, i was tempted....with my clothing at least....the yoga pants i had put on night 1 never came off my body until we returned home. ok, they came off for a couple of minutes while i changed my chonies, i HAD to change those....then the pants went right back on for an extra layer that i had to have.

i exfoliated & facialed, showered & omg finally shaved mah legs! surprisingly one of the things i was most worried about wasn't a problem; i am old & i don't get greasy hair, well, not like i used to. greasy for normal people but not for me.
& that night i slept. i was warm. there were no murdering trucks within a few feet of my head. nor squawking feathered beast.

yah for home!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

a camping we will go - pt II

B made coffee while i went off to attempt a normal morning routine. i brushed my teeth then splash ice cold water (it never did warm up) on my face. for breakfast B fixed bacon, eggs & leftover potatoes. in my sleep deprived state i agreed to stay another night.

we went back to town, kmart specifically, to get a[n artic weather appropriate] sleeping bag for me. B also looked for tent heaters, but no dice. before we left though we hit the bathroom where they had glorious warm water. i couldn't believe it had only been 24 hrs since i felt that warmth. what i would have given for a full size tub in there!

then we went over to pick up another day's worth of food - hot dogs, deli potato salad & cinnamon rolls for the next day's breakfast.....healthy camping food.

we attempted to find a camp ground/hiking area that we were told the vw couldn't handle. for the most part they were wrong, we went up almost the entire mountain but then the road got muddy & we figured we were lucky to have made it as far as we did. so we went back to camp & hiked around there.

Z stopped at pretty much every single spot that had snow wanting his picture taken. B started just making "clickclick" sounds after about #30....
Z also decided he loved picking up kindling & burning, that would be pinecones, but for some reason with him the end up 'corns.

after our walk we took a good look at the tent, i hadn't noticed but B realized not only did we have a mesh roof (with a nylon cover) there were flap/vent things ALL around, so at best the temp in the tent was in the low 30s - SEE why i was freezing my patootie off! & the 2nd night was supposed to be even colder - yah!

we took the nylon cover off & put a sheet over the tent, then replaced the cover hoping an extra layer would help insulate. then we strapped this & that every conceivable direction so the vents wouldn't open with the wind. i wasn't as cold the 2nd night although i think it was a colder & i'm pretty sure at one point a little snow fell, that or heavy rain....

the next morning we had our coffee & cinnamon rolls then packed, packed, packed everything into the car. we had a big ole tool box in the trunk bc of the possible ghetto house trip which took up too much space (not to mention the extra weight); for a minute there i thought we might have to strap Z to the roof of the car. you've seen cars with stuff packed so high they can't see out the windows? yeah, that was us for one measly 2 night camping trip.

we went tubing in the slush, Z had a blast. the days were nice so the snow was melting fast.
although i probably made it sound bad, i think our 1st camping trip was a success & we'll do it again, we still have the cub scout one if not sooner with friends.

B's so sweet, he told me afterwards that the main reason he wanted to go was so i could experience it, the 3 of us, bc he knows how uncomfortable i am being out of my element in front of others.
i told him he planned a bad camping experience so now anything else will be better!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

a camping we will go - pt I

we did it, i did it, we went....IN THE SNOW.
although we didn't know that was going to be there...

off the cuff we decided beings we were heading north at some point to go take care ghetto house matters, we would fit in a camping trip. we figured we'd go take care of that stuff, visit with R, then camp, of course you know nothing we plan works out that way. so scratch the first parts & go directly to the camping.

we took the 18 route, which was bad for Z, way too many curves, he didn't say anything but he fell asleep & when we arrived at the campgrounds he told us his tummy wasn't right. the snow made all those concerns go away quickly though. yep, there was snow on the ground & we had ourselves a fight alright, in our flipflops. gotta love california!

we walked around the campsite, chose our spot, unloaded & set up a tent. here's where i'll mention the camping newbie noticed our brand new tent, the roof, was mesh, like madonna's shirts so many years ago & there's snow on the ground.....
there was another covering & i would be in there with 2 heaters the boys, i thought i'd probably be fine, possibly hot even with those 2.

moving on....B chose serrano campground bc it had bathrooms & he knows i need to be eased into this whole outdoorsy escapade, baby steps! fyi, they had showers too, which would be nice in the summer, but there was no way i would use them when there was snow out.

after unpacking we made a quick trip into town for some wood so we could head over to the discovery center when we returned. the center was already closed for the day by the time we got there, but that was fine, it was a nice little walk to explore the area before we started dinner.

shortly before it was dark Z & I hunted around for marshmallow browning sticks, i think that was one of his favorite things to do, just walk in the forest. we threw some wrapped potatoes in the fire, B skewered some chicken & a can of beans was our first camping meal. i couldn't believe B brought my godiva dark chocolate to make s' all fairness he did ask beforehand, but really what was i supposed to say, no? we did bring a couple of hershey bars but you know the boy wouldn't have that when dark chocolate was an option.

i was surprised at how well Z did with the lack of electronics....well, i think i was actually more impressed with B, Z brought a DS. i still used my phone for games & fb bc i'm awful like that. B went cold turkey & lives to tell about it.

we went to bed but i couldn't sleep; the sounds were weird & i was cold. besides forest noises, the highway was surprisingly busy in addition to that the interior campground road had the traffic of a 24-hr discount drive thru costco!!! trucks, trailers, motorcycles, did you ever see "wolf creek"? well if you did, you probably recall [vividly, or just me?] the sound of the truck & THAT was what all the vehicles sounded like.

try & sleep with those thoughts in your head....not to mention freezing body parts. i did eventually get up & put on a pair of yoga pants under my flannel pjs which helped, some. i slept in bits & pieces then when the sun was beginning some feathered beast in a tree within inches from our tent starting making the most awful sounds you could ever imagine.

Friday, April 1, 2011

ghetto house updates

you know how on your taxes it asks for your occupation? i'm thinking of changing my title to slumlord. i wonder what they do with that info?

anyways, i got an email from wife-tenant the other day letting us know the garbage disposal wasn't working & that the sink was draining slowly. i contacted a plumber, he said he would make contact & get back with me before doing anything. we assumed most likely the garbage disposal was kaput, but of course there was an off chance the tenant had caused it.

the next call i got was from the plumber that all was taken care of & the tenant had paid, although they were surprised. he was positive foreign matter blocked the blades, tripped the switch so it longer functioned & then the sludge built up causing the slow drain.

then a day or 2 day later B got a call from husband-tenant. an urgent call that summer was on it's way & they had no cooling options. i thought the window unit was in, but B told me they had him remove it bc of the draft. this was thursday morning & had an open schedule so h-tenant said he would check on scheduling & get back with us.

we assumed, beings he initiated the call, in a flurry, that the call back would be soon. or in a few hours, but thursday came & went. we packed up ready to hit the road & waited.....ok, we got camping stuff together (next post) & jammed everything in the car.

friday morning we said screw it & headed for big bear. we even took the north route, thinking there was a remote chance the tenant would call last minute. but nope. it wasn't until after 5pm he finally called back saying sat wasn't good for them, but how about sun?

due to RUSH, then wait, wait, wait, wait for that reply......B told him we had plans & wouldn't be able to make it up there for a few weeks. surprisingly h-tenant asked if B thought he could hook up the cooler. B walked him through it all over the phone, told him to call back if he had any problems & he said he would give it a try in the morning.

he did call, but he got it! so yeah, they have cool air & we didn't have to go.
but we still will have to make a trip up there soon before it gets much hotter, but hopefully not so last minute.